Friday, October 30, 2020

CRC Opens Up The Nation For Debate

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The Gambia has moved from a Colony to a constitutional monarchy in 1965 when the Queen of The UK continued to be the Executive without 99.9 percent of the people not knowing what was going on.

In 1970, the Gambia became a Republic with a Republican Constitution without 99.9 percent of people not knowing its contents.

In 1994, the 1970 Constitution was suspended and a CRC was established to review it and draft a new one.

The CRC consulted and finally drafted a Constitution and held a referendum in 1996. The ‘yes’ vote gave birth to the 1997 Constitution.

After the Barrow administration came into office, another CRC was established to consult the people and provide a draft on the 1997 Constitution. This has been done. Each Gambian or group of Gambians should reflect on the draft and give their honest suggestions knowing fully well that if they fail to reach a consensus, the 1997 Constitution will remain and its amendments will be necessary to introduce a term limit, the second round of voting and elections, after 90 days of the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of president.

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A country can never exist without a Constitution. Hence those who claim that the 1997 Constitution was not fit for its purpose, should promote national dialogue so that all Gambians will agree on the content of the new draft Constitution by engaging in inter-faith dialogue, inter-party dialogue, inter-gender dialogue and so on and so forth.

This is a period for dialogue and consensus building and not conditionality and confrontation. That will never bring national unity.

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